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Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
January, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 01
Massage Chairs: Fad, Fixture or Therapeutic Tool?
By Raymond Blaylock
The debate goes on. Some people still consider massage chairs, and the work performed on them, a form of "fluff and buff" massage, not true therapeutic massage. Some would offer that seated massage is a good marketing tool to get people into the office or clinic to get some "real" massage.
My original introduction to the use of a massage chair was during a time when my practice was located within a physical therapy rehab center in Monterey, Calif. So my frame of reference to the use of a massage chair was for people who were so physically uncomfortable that it was not possible for them to lie down on a table. In some instances my initial work was done with them on a stool. Certain types of dysfunction such as whiplash, rotator cuff injury rehab and low back discomfort seemed to present instances where the positioning on a massage chair made the massage work easier to perform and less of an energy drain on my body.
The original massage chairs in this country, and all chairs since (save for a couple of exceptions), have been designed on the concept of the back-saver chair that became popular in the early 1980s. You remember the design; a chair with no back and a slanted seat with slanted kneepads for the legs. The design was the brainchild of a Danish orthopedist, with the thought being in this position you could not "slouch" and your vertebrae were "stacked" in a fairly straight column. The chair was done for people who were spending many hours sitting at a desk doing repetitive motions with their hands above their waists, and developing the compensatory low back discomfort and cervical immobility that is associated with that type of position.
The Danish orthopedist theorized that the position in the back-saver chair relieved about 70 percent of the pressure at L-5, S-1. Although the back-saver chairs never became a large market, home versions were developed, and high-tech Sharper Image versions exist today, but research never could verify the stated hypothesis.
My experience has been that it is an effective position for individuals with low back pain. At just about every show that I have ever done over the last 17 years, I have had at least one individual who was complaining of low back discomfort tell me that the discomfort had significantly subsided after they had sat down on the chair, many times before I had even had them lean forward into the chest pad and headrest.
In the rehab setting, the chair was very significant in that I could get the chair to fit each individual according to his or her body size and type. I could put them into a supported position with the weight and pressure off L-5,S-1. A two-fold advantage exists due to the seat and leg position design of the chair and the effect on the lumbar area; and the weight and pressure release on the cervical area, due to the position and support of the head in the adjustable headrest. When the client is properly positioned, the spine is in this supported position allowing the muscles of the client's back and neck to relax, releasing biomechanical tension. The spine is ideally reasonably straight after you adjust the client in the chair with a line drawn along the lateral body from the center of the ear through the greater trochanter. The pressure on the cervical area and the lumbar region is reduced dramatically. Actually, in this position you can usually detect hypertonic tissue like a "speed bump." Plus, I think that if you just left them in the chair for 10-15 minutes in this position they would experience a certain level of release without even putting your hands on their bodies. When we do begin to use our hands, the position in the chair has helped them to become relaxed and has already relieved some of the existing tension in the cervical area and the lumbar region. In effect, the chair has already done some of the work for us.
I have found that most upper body work can be performed in a massage chair more efficiently, with about a quarter to a half the energy expenditure on my part needed for table work. For some of the work on the hand, arm and shoulders, I can actually sit down while being incredibly effective.
It has been said, "You can't build a house with just a hammer." I am assuming this would include "remodeling," too. For myself, after 36 years of doing bodywork, I know I need tools to assist me in my continued proficiency and longevity in this profession.
Perhaps it is time for you to take another look at the massage chair in a different light. When I say we can do business everywhere, what about other countries and customs related to touch? Take a look at this link to a Web site called the Business of Touch: www.businessoftouch.com.
Raymond Blaylock, practitioner and educator, is the director of education at the Touch Resource Institute. He may be contacted by email
or through his Web site: www.mytouchresources.com.
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